More than 70 Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association parents and coaches turned out to the association’s Annual General Meeting last week.
Held in the cafeteria at the Columneetza campus, it was a good turn out for the meeting with a number of topics addressed before a new executive was sworn in.
President Todd Isnardy opened the meeting with a moment of silence for the victims of the Humboldt Broncos followed by a prayer led by Corwin Smid.
Isnardy then gave the president’s message and thanked many volunteers who make hockey in Williams Lake possible by organizing tournaments, managing teams, coaching and bringing players to practises.
“I cannot say enough about the volunteers,” Isnardy said.
He went on to say Williams Lake hockey teams were very competitive with other districts this past season, with rep, house and tournament teams finding success. Special recognition was also given to the Williams Lake Female Midget Timberwolves, who won gold at the BC Championships at home in March.
There has been great gains in female hockey, Isnardy said, from an all-girls atom team to two female rep teams in the bantam and midget divisions.
He said executive members have been questioned in larger centres as to how WLMHA is succeeding in growing female hockey, with 20 per cent of the association being female players, noting there is a “strong possibility” there will be three female rep teams next year.
Other business brought up by the executive included preparing for the new Society’s Act, having strong, clear policy surrounding discipline as it pertains to drug and alcohol use by players, as well as bullying in the dressing rooms.
Another concern vocalized at the meeting was the difficult relationship the executive had with City of Williams Lake this past season.
From scheduling WLMHA to take 6 a.m. ice times, to short notice ice cancellation, to being charged more than $150 extra for setting up early in the Gibraltar Room for the year-end banquet, the executive said it has been a challenge working with city management.
It was noted by members that the treatment was disappointing considering the amount of money WLMHA volunteers bring into the city via hockey tournaments.
Another issue brought up at the meeting was the importance of the executive sticking to policy when it comes to requests for player movement. One parent was concerned that allowing some players to play up a division was not in the best interest of building a program.
Outgoing executive members Cindy Outhouse, Chris Swan, Jason Kerley and Daniel Penny were also thanked for their volunteer efforts serving on the WLMHA executive.
Following a vote, the 2018/2019 WLMHA is as follows: President Todd Isnardy, 1st vice president Mike Rispin, 2nd vice-president Kris Beaulne, treasurer Jay Cheek, secretary Jen Loewen and directors Christina Lambe, Corwin Smid, Michelle Marchand, Leslie Rowse, Krista Harvey, Dani Wood, Brianna MacDonald and Andrea Moe.